Tuesday, 14 July 2009

John Citizen New Labour's Snitch Poodle

New Labour are so obsessed with 'citizenship' that they're set up their own pretend charity, the Citizenship Foundation, whose aim is to 'encourage and enable individuals to engage effectively in their communities and in democratic society at large.' Nearly half of its budget comes from government sources. Get 'em young seems to be the modus operandi.

'Citizenship' is built into the education system and New Labour's fascistic Every Child Matters programme. It's odd, isn't it, that after a decade of all this kind of stuff, supposedly to encourage participation in democracy, we live in an increasingly undemocratic country, within an anti-democratic European Union?

And the minister for 'communities', Hazel Blears, hasn't proved to be a good role model as far as fiscal propriety is concerned. Bad citizen, Hazel: lying, thieving toe-rag.

New Labour are at pains to let us know that when it comes to citizenship (as opposed to just being someone who lives in the country they were born in or have decided to move to) we have responsibilities as well as rights. Firstly those rights are not ones the state deigns to give us - we guarantee them for ourselves through the state. Secondly, the only responsibility any of us has towards the state is not to break the law. The state has no right to compel us in any other way. It has no right to compel us or even encourage us to be 'active' citizens or to take a 'fuller part' in the dwindling amount of democracy left to us.

The New Labour idea of citizenship is akin to that of the Jacobins during the Terror of the French Revolution and of totalitarian states that followed in the twentieth century. The citizen is just an expendable tool of the state. The individual is free only insofar as he or she obeys the state - even if, as one revolutionary said, they have to be compelled to be 'free'.

The active citizen is a snooper for the state, their mission to spy on their fellow citizens. The active citizen is encouraged to be a 'leader' (a la Common Purpose), as if we don't have enough of these useless, self-important bastards as it is. The New Labour citizen is just another apparatchik spouting the accepted mantras of diversity and social justice but doing nothing except following orders. The individual no longer exists; the term 'citizen' already narrows down meaning and importance, slots you into this rigid totalitarian way of thinking, denies you your autonomy and identity. You are only valuable as a member of the state; you only exist as a member of the state; you cannot have any existence outside of the bounds and definitions imposed by the state and its fussy, interfering busybodies.

This is a part of the slow but deliberate strangulation of the very traditions and culture of this country. Look at the change made to the Royal Charter of the BBC, for instance, just after New Labour got into power. Gone is the boring old stuff about providing television and radio programmes, the mission to inform, educate and entertain, etc. What we have instead is a slice of New Labour manifesto social engineering:
The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows—
(a) sustaining citizenship and civil society;
(b) promoting education and learning;
(c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
(d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;
No. No. No.

Once New Labour are removed from power, the BBC, among many institutions, needs to be purged of this authoritarian idiocy.

Purged - my God, I'm starting to sound like a Stalinist myself. Except, unlike Stalin, once the purge is finished, I'll be happy to leave people alone - because I, too, just want to be left alone.

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